Blog post by: Amber Brownlow, Baer Performance Marketing Intern
When you make a promise, keep it. Many companies tend to lose sight of their mission, and most of the time, a big part of that mission is to put the customer first. They start to pay attention to the numbers instead of the relationships they make with their target audience.
Secure the relationship with your customers, and the numbers will follow. It doesn’t work the other way around. When you make a promise to your customers through your marketing, follow through on it! Appreciate your customer, and they will appreciate you.
Flying without radar. Almost everyone is aware of what happened recently for United Airlines. In a recent discussion with my professor, she helped me to see the core of their problem. They completely lost sight of maintaining a relationship with customers and instead fell solely on procedure. They lost where their focus should be, and as a result, faced detrimental consequences. They would have lost money by offering more than the 800 dollars they were willing to provide to the customer who gave up their seat. They would have lost more money if they decided to just charter a plane for their employees, instead of trying to get them a seat on that flight. Instead, they went against those choices and decided to ignore the customer’s feelings and to sever their relationship with them (along with some of its customer base who will never fly United again). What did the company lose with that decision? A whole lot more than money.
Start at the source. Don’t allow yourself or your employees to lose sight of what really matters. Don’t simply try to make the sale. Make the relationship! It is clear that people just want to feel they are more than a number and that your company is genuine. Don’t fall into a sleepy routine and not make the effort. Find out what your audience really wants, listen to them, make sacrifices for them if need be, and go above and beyond for them! After all, it is your customers who are keeping your doors open.
Monitor how people feel about you; and do something about it. Customers almost always have something to say about an experience they have had with a company. After the incident on United Airlines went viral, there were a whole lot of people who decided to come forward with their experiences with United! Pay close attention to the experiences shared on your social media and website! And always reply to customer comments whether negative or positive; this is one way you can solidify a relationship with them. If a comment is negative, do not simply ignore it. Politely reply, and make an effort to make a change so that no one in the future has the same complaint. Wipe the bad taste out of their mouths to avoid continuous negative word-of-mouth. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.
Revisit your mission statement. What are you promising? If customer satisfaction isn’t something you work to promise your customers every day, I would suggest changing that. High quality is great, new technology is great, multiple locations is convenient, and low prices are wonderful…but these don’t necessarily equate to customer satisfaction. Nine times out of ten, you can gauge customer satisfaction through the relationship you create with them. Keep your promises to them, and if you can, go one step further.
If you have any questions regarding reputation management or crisis communication, please leave them in the comment section below or privately reach out to the Baer Performance Marketing team here.